by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew (Matthew 26:74),
65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
66What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
67Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
69Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
73And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.
74Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
Thus spoke Peter in the palace of the high priest, and he affirmed the statement with an oath. He swore that he knew not the Christ with whom he had sojourned three years and received his instructions, whose miracles he had witnessed—the feeding of the five thousand, the stilling of the storm, the raising of the dead, and his mother-in-law cured of a fever. And he witnessed the transfiguration of Christ on the mount. And when Christ asked his disciples, Whom say ye that I am? Peter had answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." He was so sure of that, that when Jesus told him on that last Thursday night, after the institution of the Lord's supper, "This night, before the cock crow (gets through crowing), thou shalt deny me thrice," he answered, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee."
Peter, Peter, what are you doing? How dare you contradict your Saviour? Peter did not believe Christ. That was his great sin. He trusted in his own strength, and great was his fall.
And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter (O what a look!) and Peter remembered the word of the Lord. And Peter went out and wept bitterly. That was true repentance.
O, that we may learn from Peter not to trust in our own strength, but in all circumstances of life cling in faith to the Word of God. And may He give us grace always to watch and pray.
Our Father, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand a moment, while our deadly enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh, assail us without ceasing; be pleased to preserve and strengthen us, by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may make firm stand against them, and not sink in this spiritual war, until we come off at last with complete victory. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Matt. 26:34,35; Luke 22:61,62.
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